the has been writer
sitting and thinking the writer tried to bang out new ideas but still sat frustrated with empty coffee cups, piling up almost as high as the piles of unpaid bills that he tried to not notice anymore. the dull glare of his computer screen began to blur, began to make his eyes ache and he longed for the days when stories were everywhere for him, every time he sat down a few thousand words would just casually stroll out of him and soon he’d be waving hello to another check and another review praising his brilliance and sublime insights into what makes the world such a special place for the few with a true genius for wordplay.
now it’d been years since all those things, since he had felt like a real writer still, now he felt always like the washed up has-been that he was turning into, his longtime girlfriend had left after the first three years of his not-doing-anything phase, anything except for drinking and chasing after the bright eyed redheads who always made him not think twice, but now, ten years later, he was reduced to telling people all about who he used to be and asking if they’d ever heard of him or maybe read something he had written? “I used to be very popular in the magazines, my articles and stories were always listed on the front cover in big letters! didn’t you ever read back then?” and invariably the reply came that they hadn’t been born back then.
so he sat. the money he had to try and live this out was so low that he had given up checking it and just hoped for a few more days until it ran out and he was literally forced from his apartment into…where would he go? The screen still flickered, taunting him with the vast empty spaces trying to tell him something he was sure, but what? computers weren’t like how he dreamed the future would be, there was no artificial intelligence with an all knowing smirk hiding behind the glass screen, no deep profound intellect to be found in the wires and circuit boards and microchips inside the box, no will to take over mankind and turn it into a new power source to replace it’s worn out batteries and outlets and plugs, just more … he couldn’t even think what his computer had become anymore, the internet had replaced so many things finally that people didn’t bother with all those routine little things, like going to the store or out to work, unless they were one of the highly trained and secreted away technicians who kept the insides of the giant state machine running and churning constantly, kept the deliveries automated and production of goods rolling out of the presses.
food shat out of machines into sandwiches and delivered tunnels to the kiosks and foodstands, home food ownership had been done away with when it was decided that 75% of all illness could be traced to inadequate consumption of food or defective food consumption, refrigerators were removed, replaced by water fountains spilling out purified mineralize water, food was now eaten communally at the stands, prepared under the digital eyes of robot cooks, each item cook for exactly how long and to what temperature depending on what diseases could possibly be present in that meat loaf or pork-burger, everything was frozen at some point to kill possible contaminants and then reheated to ensure the safety of all citizens, fresh vegetables had too often been linked with outbreaks of salmonella or tuberculosis so that now all food that could be grown was subjected to the disease elimination process. for the safety of all citizens. your age was used to determine where you would live, houses became tombs, as your home was yours, but its location was decided by the state machines, the younger more agile, robust and energetic members of the human species had the farthest to commute for food, while the older and weaker were moved to strategic spots closest to the food kiosks. food was illegal to be carried away, everything must be eaten while inside the kiosk and all are inspected before leaving for crumbs or pockets with a half-eaten morsel tucked away, all violators had their apartment-homes moved to the prison sections.
once inside the prison sections, violators could expect the liquid diet, not possible to remove from the kiosks, unless one attempted regurgitation, but regurgitated liquefied food, was not something anyone wanted. and after feeding violators would be put to work tending to menial labors, sent to scrub the streets or walk in circles hooked to thousands of other violators, all pulling giant cogs which gave power to the prison sections video domes and air ventilations, as such revolt by the violators was uncommon, and tended to burn itself out very quickly as the air became torturous to breath, the temperature began to drop or sky-rocket as the geographical locations dictated, the videos would flicker, but required so little energy to continue that they had never gone off.
release from the prison sections was a hope for some, a minor infraction would only last a few years inside the prison domes, unless it became compounded by an escape attempt infraction, which multiplied your sentence by three. you had two years to serve, now six if you attempted escape, try again and now it’s eighteen, again and it became fifty four. there had been no escapes, none successful, as the prison domes have only one entrance, on top, for the apartment moving sky barges. some had tried ingenious ways to attempt secreting themselves onto a sky barge when it left only to find themselves being forcibly removed at three thousand feet by an entirely non-human digital crew with no concept of mercy or death, only removal of living forms.
most people were wise enough to not attempt any food smuggling, or violating other laws which covered the new Americas, most were content that they needn’t worry about what to eat or preparing it or worrying about sanitizing the foods from the ever present disease and infections found in all terrorist lands, lands where disease was rampant, lifespans of fifty years were old, compared to the new Americans lifespan of a hundred to two hundred depending on location and responsibilities to the new Americas, people with few responsibilities were the earliest to die now, as they had no usefulness, except for the few who were elevated as sports or entertainment figures but they tended to wear out their bodies just as fast as the irresponsible, those who were heads of state or corporations or masters of their fields tended to live the longest, sustained by public funds due to their importance and being rewarded for their service to the new Americas, they got to live longer and enjoy the fruits to come from their decades of service to the business and politics of new America.
the new Americas included what was once known as Canada and Mexico and what used to be the South American continent after the decision that all attached landmass was part of America and the new world and the former brutal dictatorships, communist islands or mountain and/or jungle tribes were brought under the protection of the former United States of America to become one giant all encompassing state of the New Americas, the world began to step back, the food disease had come to China and the surrounding countries, wiping out hundreds of millions leaving only a miniscule fraction of the former leader of the world population, India, Russia, the United European nations were all likewise brought low as food-borne illness came with the winds and left the dead stacked in piles so high that no one thought they would survive, the New Americas seemed to be untouched as the food disease claimed entire countries in Africa and showed no signs of slowing or being conquered by a anti-biotic or shot or nasal spray or pill or anything, there was no spraying the crops to kill bacteria and no viruses we could combat, only the dead still stuck with spoons and forks jutting out of their mouths as they died so fast no one could even begin to count them. just mourn for the loss and hope that this was not the last blow and final chapter in long bloody history of humanity. Humanity indeed had a new story to start telling, about how all but one fell to the food disease, and how that one state was to lead what was left into something entirely unheard of, something almost mocking the whole history of man, the true new world order.